The Los Angeles LGBT Center honored two-time Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner Saturday night at the center’s 46th anniversary Vanguard Awards gala.
Fonda was to receive her award from Lily Tomlin, her co-star in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie.”
Actress Frances McDormand was to present the award to Nyswaner, an openly gay writer, producer, documentary filmmaker, activist and pioneer in LGBT- related films.
The fundraising gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel “will bring together more than 1,200 LGBT people and their allies to celebrate “inspirational honorees who exemplify courage, compassion and a relentless tenacity for creating positive change in the world,” according to the center.
“This honor means a lot to me,” Fonda said. “The work that the center does for the LGBT community, its children and extended families is profound and essential.”
According to a the center, “Fonda became a friend and ally to the LGBT community at a time when celebrities advocating for LGBT rights was almost unthinkable.”
“She campaigned with Harvey Milk against California’s anti-LGBT Briggs Initiative, fought Anita Bryant — the notorious activist who demonized LGBT with a campaign to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance in Florida — and has been a lifelong supporter of the LGBT community and champion for human rights.”
Tomlin said: “Since long before I worked with Jane, I was in awe of her energy, activism and generosity. Three decades later, I am still in awe of her and feel truly privileged to bestow this well-deserved honor. She has earned this over and over and over in her lifetime.”
Nyswaner earned an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for “Philadelphia,” the first major studio film to address homophobia and AIDS, and won a Peabody Award for his film “Soldier’s Girl,” which tells the true- life story of transgender heroine Calpernia Addams.
More recently, he wrote “Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in the story of a woman’s struggle to win her lesbian partner’s pension benefits after she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Nyswaner is the co-creator of the Nyswaner/Salzman Film Archive, the fourth-largest LGBT film archive in the United States.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center, which was founded in 1969, has more than 500 employees and 3,000 volunteers who provide programs and services in the areas of health, social services and housing, culture and education, leadership and advocacy.
—City News Service